The present age is featured as the era of socialmedia and online networks.
This new type of communication is a result of thegreat evolution of information and computer science technology that has playedan important role in facilitating the creation and sharing of information via virtualcommunities. It is obvious that the virtual community, or-in other words- thenetwork society is trying to replace the traditional ways of interactionbetween people. The reasons behind this aspect are mainly related to thesimplicity and ease of use of social media that provide a wide space forexpressions and interactions. In addition, social media allows us to controlour feelings when we are behind our keyboards or cell phones instead of showingthem spontaneously when we are in a direct face-to-face interaction. Today,countries and communities around the world are more connected through Facebook,Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Skype, and other online applications that makethis entire globe a smaller place. Information technology has therefore playeda great role in facilitating everyday communication between people throughsocial media. However, the extensive use of social media couldaffect people’s face-to-face interaction which is a type of interpersonal communication.During interpersonal communication we are exchanging information, feelings, andmeaning through verbal and non-verbal messages like for instance the tone ofvoice, facial expressions, gestures and body language 1.
This is essential ineveryday life and is inevitable for building societies. That’s why people andgenerations throughout the history focused on arts like singing, dancing oracting to define their cultures and communities. Delivering all types ofinterpersonal interactions is therefore less achievable via social media. Thismeans that social media may not completely substitute the interpersonalcommunication although it is considered very effective in our lives. Nowadays, peopleare becoming more obsessed with their personal computers, cell phones, andipads in a strong manner so that they are unable to live without it.
In thissense, it is important to investigate the importance of social media ineveryday life and its ability to affect face-to-face interaction. The questionof this research is: What is the impact of social media on interpersonalcommunication?I. Literature ReviewThere are severalstudies that have addressed the impact of social media on the interpersonalcommunication. The majority of these studies showed that social media indeedaffects the face-to-face communication between people especially amongteenagers and students. In her study “The Effect of Technology on Face-to-FaceCommunication”, Emily Drago investigated a survey on students and found that themajority of students (74%) use their cell phone sometimes when they are withfamily or friends, and 46% said they communicate with friends or family morefrequently via technology than in person 2.”The Impact ofthe Internet on Teenagers’ Face-to-Face Communication” by Nuhu Diraso Gapsisoand Joseph Wilson proved that the use of the Internet by the teenagers hasreduced the amount of time they spend engaging in face-to-face communicationwith their family members. For instance, 66% reported that their face-to-facecommunication has decreased. Most of the respondents considered communicationthrough the internet better than face-to-face communication because it broughtthem much closer to their friends and helped them to make new friends 3.
Also, The “Impactof Social Media on Interpersonal Communication Patterns” by Velga Veverementioned that according to Facebook philosophy, social media affects how weuse social media affects how we present ourselves and how others perceive us,It affects our our identity, our privacy and our relationship maintenance behaviors 4.In this research,we will extend our study to people of different ages so that we include allmembers of the society. II. ResearchMethodologyA number of 100 participants will be chosenrandomly to answer a survey of 16 questions (see Appendix). They will be ofdifferent ages, genders, and occupations.
The questions will inform us aboutthe extent of the participants’ attachment to social media as well as theiropinion about this topic. They will also answer questions about theirinterpersonal communication with their families and friends. According to theiranswers, we will be able to estimate the impact of social media oninterpersonal communication.III. Expected ResultsDepending onthe survey, the results can be summarized into four main points:- The majority of participants willdeclare that they use social media everyday and check their accounts whenevernew notification appears, no matter whether they are busy or having aface-to-face communication with others.
– The majority of theparticipants will declare that they have a lot of friends on social media thatthey don’t know personally, whereas they have not more than five real closefriends. – The majority of theparticipants are attached to Social Media despite their age, gender, andoccupation. There is a high possibility that teenagers and young people areaddicted to Social media more than adults. – The majority of theparticipants will declare that Social Media is affecting the face-to-face communicationwith others negatively. IV.
Discussion:Based on thisstudy, we can say that social media is undoubtedly affecting face-to-faceinteraction in a negative manner. In other words, the increase of using socialmedia decreases the interpersonal communication. It is worth noting that this conclusionis also very well known by people because the majority of the participants inour survey admitted this fact. Despite that, people still depend on socialmedia without any intentions to diminish its use. This can be well illustratedfrom the answers on question.
1 (see Appendix) where the majority ofparticipants said that they respond quickly to their notifications. This couldbe due to people’s ignorance on the importance of interpersonal communicationand its effect on the society. According to these results, we expect thatsocial media will have a great influence on our personal lives in the comingyears leading to a change in the structure of our society.